Redesigning value-based hospital structures: a qualitative study on value-based health care in the Netherlands



Abstract Background A crucial component of value-based health care concerns the redesign of organizational structures. In theory, hospital structures should follow value creation: addressing medical conditions for specific groups of patients over full cycles of care. In practice, however, it remains unclear how hospitals can reorganize themselves into value-based structures. The purpose of this study is to explore the ways in which Dutch hospitals are currently implementing and pursuing value-based redesign. Methods This qualitative exploratory study used semi-structured interviews and a focus group for data collection. Transcripts were analyzed through deductive coding, for which we used Mintzberg’s theory on organizational structures, particularly his work on design parameters. Results In their efforts to create more value-based structures, Dutch hospitals often employ a variety of liaison devices, such as project teams and committees. By contrast, the actual formation of units around medical conditions is much rarer. Outcome data are widely used within planning and control systems, and some hospitals partake in external benchmarking. Not all hospitals use cost indicators for monitoring performance. Conclusions Value-based redesign is not necessarily a matter of radical changes or binary choices. Instead, as Dutch hospitals show, it can be an incremental process, with a variety of potential knobs to turn to various degrees. Health care executives, managers, and professionals thus have a wide range of options when they aim for more value-based structures. Our conceptualization of “value-based design parameters” can help guide the selection and implementation of strategies and mechanisms for further coordination around medical conditions over full cycles of care.
Date made available2022

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